There is a lot of crisis in our society nowadays that the nagging question borders on the type of education that our youth receive. Why is there so much depravity among the youth, including students of higher institutions of learning? Evils of unimaginable proportions are what we daily witness from those who are supposedly educated.
In our misguided attempt to grasp at modernity, we have unwittingly limited education to the ability to speak and read and write in English. Then, this ability must ultimately end in a “good life”, in purely material terms, where the dominant philosophy is “me, myself and I”. We toil and labour on children that do not share our values and ideals, children who are strangers to all that define us as a people.
This is where the rain started to beat us till it led us to this cold dark forest. For instance, anytime I stumble on the cacophony of “sound and fury signifying nothing” that goes for contemporary music and the depravity of the youngsters who spew it out, I shudder in horror. Everything that is “trendy” in music is all about the glamorisation of material wealth, excitation of sexual feelings and promotion of obscenity.
Unfortunately, these misguided youngsters are considered role models and there are many young ones who “follow” them, online and offline. Since they are materially successful, anything they do is “cool” and anything contrary to theirs is “old school”. A boy told his parents the other day that he should stop bothering his life about school and that what matters is money. He added that it was nobody’s business how he would make it.
Parents invest huge sums of money in providing education to their children with a view to making them successful but the education fails from the beginning. Modern education is good but it is not enough to produce the type of future leaders we deserve and desire if the cultural foundation is lacking. Home education is the foundation and if it is missing, the subsequent education collapses in qualitative terms.
Broadly, balanced education consists of three rings, which are the traditional, the religious and the modern. The same way that balanced diet is the best for the health of individuals, balanced education is the ideal for the harmonious development of one’s mental, emotional and psycho-motor domains.
Balanced education is an all-embracing model of education that equips a learner with spiritual, material, moral, physical, emotional and intellectual knowledge. It combines qualitative education mainly provided at home with the quantitative one that is offered at school, with a view to achieving a truly balanced personality.
Traditional education, which includes home education, is dying because parents have no time again for their children. Parents are the first school a child attends but when the teachers in the school are not available, the whole system is ruined. Many young people grow up without having learnt anything from their parents who are too busy to attend to them especially in our cities.
Traditional education serves to develop character, inculcate respect for elders and those in authority and imbue children with a sense of belonging to the society and culture. It is taught at home and every parent is supposed to be a teacher who teaches the child what is right and wrong.
Religious education imbues learners with the fear of God and the virtue of accountability. When children are brought up to know and appreciate the religious values of honesty, kindness, love, cooperation, justice, charity and the likes, they are aware that their goodness to their fellow beings is part of obeying their Creator. They become conscious of sins and avoid harming and hurting others.
Unfortunately, our new education curriculum has undermined religious education such that the two subjects representing our two major religions have been collapsed to topics within an omnibus subject. If students are not properly taught the virtues of religion, how will they not be hoodwinked by those whose vices are attributed to religion?
The last ring is modern education on which we put a lot of emphasis. As rich as it is, it does not provide us with the balanced diet that is required of a balanced body. The education that is needed is that one that fuses the traditional and the religious together within a comprehensive modern educational system that is not focused on speaking a foreign language or imbibing a foreign culture alone. Let’s give balanced education a priority.